Seamlines

Ozymandias

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Author's Notes: GUESS WHO'S BACK, BABY. :big_grin:

Finally sat myself down and started to get this story down on paper, which has been bouncing around in my head since Summer of 2012. It hasn't been until recently, though, that everything has come together in my head properly so that I could write this without too many hiccups.

I must warn you ahead of time that this fic will contain some OCs, but I will do my absolute best to ensure that everyone is in character and that none of these OCs turn into Mary Sues or Marty Stu's, if I can at all help it.

Without further ado, Seamlines, ladies and gentlemen! Enjoy!


Seamlines

By Ozymandias

Chapter 1​

As usual, on a day when there was no Muppet Show performance (a Monday, to be specific), Kermit the frog could be found in only one place, and that was his office, surrounded by literal mountains of paperwork. He used his Mondays to make good and sure that those mountains did not become entire rooms full of paperwork, but it was clear that he was never going to get caught up. It was there that Hilda found him, bent over his desk, sorting paper into three piles; Read Today, Read Tomorrow and Fugettaboutit.

“Hmm, letter from the Mayor, read today, electric bill, read tomorrow, birthday card to Robin, ooh! From Carol-Anne at school, aww, how sweet, I’ll pass it on.” This one he put in his take-home bag, propped next to his chair. Hilda quietly stepped into the doorframe.

“Letter from OS—OSHA? Oh good grief.” Kermit scrunched up his face, then balled up the letter and threw it into the trashcan unopened. Dr. Bunsen Honeydew alone assured that the Muppet Theatre would forever remain non-OSHA compliant, and he didn’t even want to know what they thought of The Amazing Gonzo—

“Excuse me, Kermit?” Hilda called out timidly from the door. Kermit turned in his chair and, seeing who it was, offered a disarming smile. “Hi ho, Hilda!”

“Hello, um, do you mind if I talk to you about something important?”

“Sure thing!” The frog gave her his full attention, grateful for the break from mail sorting.

“Lately I’ve been having a lot of difficulty keeping up with the costume repairs as well as making the new ordered costumes.” Hilda cleared her throat. “I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the deal I made with Miss Piggy concerning the plus-size designs?

Kermit nodded. “She gets exclusive and complete design rights as well as creation rights to them. It was a great idea too!”

“Yes, and it helped to lighten the load somewhat. Miss Piggy is a good sewer, but even then I’m still getting swamped, as she’s often busy with her other stage duties. I’ve asked around, and no one else knows how to sew and they’re too busy for me to teach them. Kermit, I’ll cut to the point—I’m getting older and I can’t keep up with the workload by myself any more. I would like your permission to hire an understudy seamstress to handle daily repairs and other small jobs.”

“Hmmm.” Kermit looked thoughtful. “Is that all she would do?”

“No. As an understudy I would teach her--or him now that I think about it--what I know so that when I retire they can take over.”

“Oh yeah, I guess seamstresses can be him too.” Kermit pulled open a drawer and started digging through it, looking for the folder containing the theatre’s yearly budget. “That sounds reasonable. Let’s see if we can afford one, then we can discuss specifics.”

Hilda looked pleased. That had gone over better than she thought.

The next half-hour or so was spent discussing the budget and pay rates. Would the seamstress be paid by the amount of garments repaired or by the hour? Hilda quickly voted for the latter option, stating that the former option would cause The Muppet Theatre to become broke very quickly. Bi-weekly or monthly? How low should the starting rate be? How should they advertise?

“Kijiji or Craigslist, duh.” Rizzo popped out from a pile of papers, munching on an old pizza crust to give his two cents. “Oh, Kermit? You really need to get Bernard to ignore this place more often, there’s some awesome junk in here if you know where to look!”

“Will you get out of here?!?” Kermit yelled as Rizzo fled, laughing as he went. The rat’s advice was taken though, and the next day an ad went up on Craigslist.

Wanted

Muppet seamstress to act as an understudy to experienced costume designer in the world-famous Muppet Show

Good hours and great beginning pay!

Call us at 1-800-Muppets

Or bring your portfolio and a sample of your work to

The Muppet Theatre
Everytown, USA,
P.O #: 12345​

P.S. Seamstresses with some prior experience preferred.

*****​

In a cramped, three-room apartment, a figure leaned forward and made some notes on a paper pad as the ad flashed up, bright and loud, on the laptop screen. The light from the screen reflected off of a pair of square-rimmed glasses as the figure reached for the telephone.
 

The Count

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Hmm, a promising beginning. Interested to find out who Hilda's understudy will be. Also, who's Bernard? And hey, OC's are okay, we've got plenty o' em in all the fics posted here at the forum. Look forward to read whatever's next.
 

AnimatedC9000

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Very interesting story! I can't wait to see where this is headed.
 

Ozymandias

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Thank you The Count and Animated!

Also, who's Bernard?
Beauregard's long-lost janitor twin who lives in a little town called Odyssey (And totally not a blooper because I forgot Beau’s name, ohhh nooo :stick_out_tongue: ).

Anyways, on to Chapter 2!

*****


Chapter 2

“Lights, LIGHTS! Places everybody, we go live in two minutes!” Kermit practically yodeler as he leaped here, dodged there. The theatre was in its usual pre-show chaos, with chickens in spangly dresses and pig line dancers sporting fishnet stockings scrambling frantically to get into position. “Ow!” He yelled as someone stepped on his foot.

“Oh! I’m sorry Kermit, didn’t see you there!” Sweetums rumbled, pausing as he headed towards the line where he, Thog, and some of the other giants would come in. This’d be his last opening number for a bit, as he and Big Mean Carl were switching places for a few weeks so he could get a break.

“It’s ok Sweetums, I’m fine, but please watch where you are going next time!” Kermit exclaimed, then moved away onto the special platform where he would appear framed in the ‘O’. Third show of the newest theatre season, and aside for one hospital trip to Henson Memorial for Gonzo and one fire that had to be put out courtesy of Crazy Harry’s antics, there hadn’t been any other major disasters thus far. Kermit hoped it would stay that way, but then again, considering that the Newsman had some news bulletins to announce and Muppet Labs had a new invention to unveil to the world (and the poor unsuspecting audience), Kermit wasn’t holding his breath.

“Thirty seconds to curtain!” Scooter called out, and Kermit echoed it as he stood to attention, waiting to hear the rolling drum, his cue to face the audience as he always did, radiating excitement. He hadn’t been able to do a whole lot this morning as far as show prep went; he and Hilda had been busy co-interviewing candidates for the assistant seamstress position. He’d given a thumbs up for three of the candidates, but decided to let Hilda make the final decision. He had no knowledge when it came to sewing or alterations, but she knew what she was looking for, so he left her to it.

The drum roll sounded, and Kermit took a deep breath as the little door flew open.

"It’s the Muppet Show, with our very special guest star, Florence Welch from Florence + the Machine!” He yelled, before doing his signature happy dance before he braced himself as the prop (including the platform he was standing on), rose up towards the ceiling. He could hear the music coming up from the orchestra pit before the platform came to a stop, and he quickly stepped onto the catwalk specially made for scenes like this. He walked (don’t look down, don’t look down) over to a ladder, which lead halfway down the stage to a second platform that could become Juliet’s balcony or a dangerous cliffside with the right prop add-ons. From there, it was a matter of scrambling down the stairs, waiting for the line of dancing gentleman to pass by him on the way out to the stage, then dart over to the open trapdoor where Rizzo was waiting for him. He nodded with a pointy, yet friendly grin, then pulled a penlight out from behind his ear and darted into the trapdoor. Without hesitation Kermit dived in after him, having completed this ritual hundreds of times before. There may be times when he found Rizzo annoying, but Kermit knew that his friend was worth his weight in gold, and he was grateful for that. Only Rizzo was small enough and had eyes sharp enough to guide Kermit under the stage to the second trapdoor, and do it so that Kermit never missed his cue to jump to his place on stage in the arches, unseen by the audience until the last perfect second.

"Good day today, huh Kermit?” Rizzo sang quietly as they half walked, half crawled underneath the stage. The ground and boards above their head were vibrating from the music. No dust clouds rose up though; Kermit did not want to come out covered in dust when he sang his part, so he personally asked Rizzo’s family to keep it clean for him.

“So far, and I hope it stays that way!” Kermit replied cheerfully, making sure to keep Rizzo’s tail in his vision at all times. Save for the penlight, it was pitch dark there, until they reached the trapdoor edged with light. Kermit braced himself.

“So now let’s get things started!” The chorus sang as the trapdoor flew open and Kermit gave a fantastic leap to land on his position on a second tier arch (I still got it! Kermit mentally crowed as he sat down and crossed his legs as the crowd sang in response.

“It’s time to get things started on the most sensational, inspirational, celebrational, muppetational!” He sang, being joined by more and more voices as his crew sang around him. As always, he felt his heart fill with pride and warmth. They really are amazing, he thought with a smile.

“This is what we call THE MUPPET SHOW!”

*****​

The rest of the show ran smooth as melted butter until they got to the Muppet Labs section. Of course.

“Welcome to Muppet Labs, where the future is being made today!” Dr. Bunsen Honeydew called out from his position on stage. He was beaming. Beside him, Beaker looked nervous, as usual. Between them stood an unusual sight; a small dog kennel, with the door closed

“And today, we have something for you to make office work just that more convenient! Have you ever spent hours at your paper shredder, shredding piles of unwanted documents only to have to pause to unclog the silly thing and empty the basket? Well, you shall have to suffer through this no more, with Muppet Lab’s new Super Shredder!” Bunsen called out triumphantly. From up in the balcony, Statler and Waldorf glanced at each other with one eyebrow raised.

“Yes! We figured out that the best way to fix that problem would be to add one crucial component that makes everything easier to deal with: sentience!”

Statler and Waldorf both started simultaneously grinning. They both knew how this was going to wind up! From the wings Kermit thought the same thing, and slapped a flipper to his forehead.

“Go ahead and open the kennel door, Beaker!” Bunsen said encouragingly. Beaker’s hands shook as he reached towards the handle, then he squeezed the kennel handle, yanked the little door back, and jumped to get out of the way. At first, nothing happened. Then slowly, timidly, something waddled out onto the Muppet Labs table.

Simultaneously, the entire audience went “Aww!” Kermit’s eyes widened with surprise. Could it be that this wasn’t going to end up in a disaster?

It was, as Bunsen had aptly described, a paper shredder about the size of a small dog. It would have been completely normal looking except for two features. First, the four normal pads on the bottom had been lengthened into little stubs that served as feet, and two, the appearance of two big, surprisingly bright blue eyes on top near where it’s ‘mouth’ was. It let out a squeak and cowered at first at seeing the crowd, but then Bunsen gently pushed it to the front.

“Go on now, its ok.” Bunsen encouraged. The shredder stared, wide-eyed, at the audience. Beaker stepped closer, his earlier fears mollified somewhat.

“This is Muppet Labs brand new Patented Super Shredder! That’s right, no more spending hours shredding unwanted documents or emptying baskets! That’s right, this little guy will do it with a will for you! Just tell it what pile of unwanted papers that you want shredded and it will go after them and have them done for you in a jiffy! What is more, it also recycles the paper into little pellets that are perfect for use as cat litter! So not only are your office needs taken care of, but so is one important need of any kitty friends that you may have.” Bunsen smiled. The shredder gave a robotic sounding “Yip!” More members of the audience were beginning to smile; its timid charm was winning them over.

“And now, for a practical demonstration! Beaker, please bring out the unwanted mail!” Beaker brought up a small grocery bag filled with unwanted OSHA letters, with the info on the envelopes blacked out with sharpie, of course (no sense in having any OSHA agents in the audience catch on to the fun, after all). He drew out a letter and carefully fed it to the Super Shredder who, after a careful sniff, quickly gobbled it up with a whirring noise. Beaker fed it a second letter, and all seemed well in the world of Muppet Labs as Bunsen addressed the audience. It wasn’t until the third letter, however, that the shredder caught a whiff of Beaker’s labcoat sleeve and decided to chow down.

Beaker’ alarmed meeping as he wrestled with the determined little paper shredder grew into loud shrieks as the Super Shredder ate his labcoat sleeve all the way up to the elbow, though being careful not to eat his arm in the process. It was only then that Bunsen turned around and shouted in alarm, grabbing the little shredder as it started on Beaker’s plaid green shirt underneath. The audience roared with laughter as they watched the ensuing struggle.

“Ooh! Bad Super Shredder, very bad!” Bunsen exclaimed, trying to pull the shredder away from Beaker’s clothes to no avail. Realizing quickly that they’d better get off of the stage before the shredder stripped his hapless assistant down to his boxers, Bunsen pitched his head back towards the stage wing, hoping that Beaker caught the message.

“Well, that’s all for today, folks! Tune in next week when Muppet Labs unveils its newest invention: Titanium Woven Clothing!” He cried out, then started yanking Beaker and the Super Shredder off of the stage as the audience laughed and applauded.

“Glad he pulled them off before the shredder ate all of Beaker’s clothes! The audience would have gone blind!” Statler exclaimed.

“But then we wouldn’t have to see the rest of the show!” Waldorf replied.

“Do ho ho ho ho!”

From below them, a conversation was being had.

“Just watch, Beaker will want that lab coat repaired later, poor fellow. The shirt is going to be a total loss though.” Hilda sniffed. “Good luck trying to find fabric in that shade of green! We’ll have to try dyeing it!”

“Is the show always like this?” A voice next to her asked timidly.

“Oh sweetheart, you have no idea.”
 

The Count

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Beauregard's twin? Oh, you mean Cousin Mo from the Family Reunion.

Heh... "Don't look down, don't look down!" Yeah, you might not like finding that guy beneath you Kerm.
Second heh, a second catwalk halfway down the stairs from the first after the platform was raised into the theater's rafters.

And science marches on... Or at least it continues Beaker's unlucky strike alive for yet another episode.
Good stuff, please post more when ready.
 

Ozymandias

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Heh... "Don't look down, don't look down!" Yeah, you might not like finding that guy beneath you Kerm.
Second heh, a second catwalk halfway down the stairs from the first after the platform was raised into the theater's rafters.
We need a ROTFL smiley for that first one. XD As for your second point, the second platform is a platform, not a catwalk. There is a difference. :stick_out_tongue:
 

AnimatedC9000

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Ah, theater chaos. Reminds me of some of the productions I was in. You know, other than the sentient objects. All the luck to the new person Hilda's talking to.

Great chapter, and great use of theater equipment terminology! Can't wait for the next chapter!
 

Ozymandias

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Thank you AnimatedC9000! I used to be in different drama productions years ago so I know what that chaos is like, haha. It's fun to revisit it in fic form. :smile: Good to know that my theatre lingo is still in working order!

On to chapter 3, I am on a ROLL, BABY. *fistpumps*

********


Chapter 3
The final drumming crescendo died away as Florence finished her rendition of “Drumming Song” with the Electric Mayhem, only stopping once because Animal became so frenzied he started eating one of his cymbals and promptly choked on it partway through the number. Fortunately, he was ok (this wasn’t the first time Floyd had performed the Heimleich Maneuver on Animal), and the number ended to roaring applause from the audience as Kermit ended the show.

Beaker didn’t hear too much of this as he headed further and further backstage, his lab coat in his hands, half of his shirt eaten. It had taken them almost ten minutes after the Muppet Labs segment to pry the Super Shredder off of him, and that only happened when the shredder unexpectedly stopped, spat out the wad of fabric and threads it was currently working on, then started throwing up paper and threads while Bunsen held it away from himself. It then burst into tears and started wailing piteously. It was hard to be angry at it when it was this miserable. With a sigh, Beaker suggested that Bunsen take it back to Muppet Labs to clean the little guy up, then went off to see if he could get his lab coat repaired (normally he wouldn’t bother, but this one was his favorite, and had only one sleeve eaten off in comparison to his shirt). However, once again luck was not in his favor, as Hilda had apparently been out, and would only be back after the days show had ended. So back to Muppet Labs he went, where Bunsen had just finished clearing off the shredder and the long-suffering Beauregard had swept up the unfortunate (but dry, at least) pile. Beaker could hear Bunsen scolding the shredder from outside the door, then, as the little guy sniffled, forgiving it and patting it gently on the head.

“Mee mee mo mo.” He said from the doorway.

“Oh, Beaker! Come on in, it’s all cleared out now from its escapade earlier.”

“Mee mee mee?”

“No, I don’t think it’ll try that again. Whatever it ate didn’t seem to agree with it, and taste aversion can be a powerful phenomenon--”

“Doo doo doo doo doo!” The Snowths sang as they popped up out of nowhere. As they scuttled away, Bunsen and Beaker stared after them with equal O__o looks on their faces.

“…Anyways, it shouldn’t do that again. Will you?” Here Bunsen stared down at the little shredder in his arms, which rapidly shook its head (don’t think about that too hard). With a sigh, Beaker walked in.

“Mee mee?”

“I’m not sure.” Bunsen sighed. Usually after a failed experiment, the aftermath for said experiment would follow one of three options; get junked while salvaging any spare parts, get stored away so that it was never seen again, or, rarely, see if any improvements could be made (which lead, more often than not, to the first two options). This time was a little bit different though. “I mean, it’s sentient! We can’t do what we usually do!”

“Mee mo mo mee mee mo?”

“Don’t really like that idea either.”

“Mo?”

“Well, Van Neuter did lend us the books needed, yes, but I don’t like the idea of the Super Shredder becoming another one of his experiments.” Bunsen’s grip tightened slightly on it, and the shredder snuggled into his chest in response, squeaking contentedly.

“Mo mee mo mee mee mee mo mee.”

“I know that, but she’s our experiment!”

Beaker raised an eyebrow at that. She? Despite himself, a small smile was beginning to grow on his face. The shredder was now blinking sleepily, and Bunsen looked down at it, well, her, with a look that would make any pet-lover melt. There was a pause.

“Mee mee mee mee mee mee, mee mee me mee mee mo mo?”

“Bring her home? You mean, to stay?” A beautiful smile bloomed on Bunsen’s face. “Oh Beaker, what a wonderful idea! Although, I’m curious why you haven’t offered to take her.”

Really? When she ate half my shirt? Besides, she clearly likes you best, Beaker thought as he observed that the Super Shredder was now sleeping peacefully. My cats would freak out too, if I brought her home. He offered this last explanation to Bunsen, who didn’t seemed to want to argue against that, but simply smiled down at the shredder in his arms.

“I think,” he said, “I’ll call her Shreddy.”

*****​

“Shreddy? Really? Clearly Dr. Honeydew doesn’t have much of an imagination.” Hilda cackled as Beaker recalled the story to her. She and her new assistant had come back from the show to find him waiting outside the sewing studio door, his lab coat draped over his arms as he leaned against the wall. He nodded to Hilda, but yelped and turned red as he saw her new assistant, struggling to get his mangled lab coat back on. To her credit, she too quickly turned away, if only to respect his modesty (not that she would have stared much, anyways. Broomstick-thin wasn’t even remotely her type).

“I’m glad for him though, it’s nice that he has a pet now.” Hilda beamed as she carefully removed the stitches from the ruined arm of the lab coat. “As the good book says, ‘It is not good for man to live alone’, and while that wasn’t exactly referring to pets, they certainly can help! Speaking of, how are your two tabbies doing?” Her assistant, who had introduced herself then gone straight to handsew some buttons onto a jacket, glanced up in their direction before returning to her work.

Tilley and Ethelbert? Oh, they’re fine, a bit rambunctious sometimes, but fine. He thought, then yammered as much out to Hilda. He had adopted the brother and sister from a shelter six months prior.

They talked for a bit more before Beaker, now sporting a blank, oversized white shirt (the only item of clothing that hadn’t been claimed by anyone else in the studio after he had given them his ruined shirt to use for patches), headed out the door, ready to head home for the day.

“How can you understand what he’s saying?” The assistant asked, mystified.

“Well, either you have it or you don’t.” Hilda shrugged. “Animal’s got it, Swedish Chief’s got it, I’ve got it, and obviously Dr. Honeydew’s got it or else they’d never be able to work together—”

“Who?”

“The short bald green one with the glasses, was up there on stage with him today.”

“Oh yeah!” The assistant kept sewing intently, but she was listening.

“But Kermit doesn’t have it, Miss Piggy definitely doesn’t have it, Gonzo doesn’t have it, and well, most of the other Muppets can’t understand him, so if you can’t, don’t feel too bad about it.”

“There’s so many names to remember.” She murmured.

“I know,” Hilda said gently, “But it’ll get better with time. I’m sure you’ll do fine.” The room was quiet after that.
 
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AlittleMayhem

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For some reason I love the idea of Beaker owning cats! :big_grin:

Lovely fic so far! I like how you keep the new character a bit of a mystery to the reader! I eagerly await their proper reveal! :smile:
 

TheWeirdoGirl

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Beauregard's long-lost janitor twin who lives in a little town called Odyssey (And totally not a blooper because I forgot Beau’s name, ohhh nooo :stick_out_tongue: ).
This twin named Bernard doesn't happen to wash windows at an ice cream shop called Whit's End, does he? :wink:

Great story! Can't wait to see where it goes. Also, OF COURSE Beaker has cats. Why has no one apparently ever thought of that before?
 

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